Magill's Choice: American Indian Tribes Review

“This two-volume treatment of American Indian tribes is organized into two parts: "Culture Areas" and "Tribes and Traditions." The first part is further divided into ten distinct and well-organized thematic essays on regions that include the Arctic, California, Great Basin, Northeast, Northwest Coast, Plains, Plateau, Southeast, Southwest, and the Subarctic. Each essay presents the language groups and tribes of the region in question and a variety of subtopics, such as environment, material culture, art and architecture, linguistic history, postcontact changes, and regional prehistory. The essays, which reflect the diversity of each region, are well written, clear, and concise. The "Tribes and Traditions" section, which takes up the second half of Volume 1 and all of Volume 2, covers every group, from the Abenaki to the Zapotec, including precontact groups, such as the Hohokam or Hopewell. Each tribe and tradition is accompanied by information on culture-area affiliation, language group, primary location, and population size (using the 1990 U.S. Census or other estimates). Brief discussion is given to subsistence patterns, material culture, post-contact changes, prehistory, religion, and history. In terms of layout and level of detail, this two-volume set can be compared to American Indian Biographies (LJ 3/15/99) and Arlene Hirschfelder and Paulette Molin's Encyclopedia of Native American Religion (LJ 1/00), which it complements nicely but does not replace; all three books are different in focus. The current work is an excellent sourcebook for researchers, students, and professionals and is highly recommended for all public and academic libraries and special collections.”
-Library Journal